Q’s + cocktails with…David Droga, worldwide chief creative officer, Publicis, NYC

Fear of failure, and luck. David Droga says those are the main reasons he is who he is - at age 36. The native Aussie was in Toronto last month to tell ad types about how he got to be top creative guy in the Publicis network two years ago. His visit was part of a series of events, dubbed Diary of a Creative Director, organized by Black Bag

Fear of failure, and luck. David Droga says those are the main reasons he is who he is – at age 36. The native Aussie was in Toronto last month to tell ad types about how he got to be top creative guy in the Publicis network two years ago. His visit was part of a series of events, dubbed Diary of a Creative Director, organized by Black Bag

creative recruitment.

He’s obviously being modest. There has to be more to it, considering how far he’s come in such a short time. His first taste of life in the biz was in 1988, as a writer for Omon Sydney. Four years later, at 23, he became the shop’s CD. Another few years later, he skipped over to Saatchi & Saatchi Asia, as ECD. And soon after, Saatchi’s London office came knocking.

And did we mention the 45 Cannes Lions (including a couple of Grand Prix)?

But that’s not what he’s most proud of. Creating energetic, loving environments in Singapore and London is. ‘There’s nothing more important,’ he says. ‘You want to work with people you want to be with when the shit hits your face.’

Over Heinekens before the show, Droga told us what he’s up to next.

What’s one of the biggest challenges facing agencies?

We’re not necessarily attracting the A+ talent anymore. There are so many more industries that are a magnet now, whether it’d be software, television, etc.

How are you dealing with it?

By putting multi-disciplines in the creative area. Some of them are logical, such as online specialists, PR, all that. But there are also unnatural ones, like comedy writers, cartoonists or musicians – people who can give a

different perspective.

I’m also trying to build an online community of our top creative directors around the world that every client can tap into. We pitched and won Coca-Cola’s global projects by putting the work on the creative board.

What should advertising look like – and who’s getting it done?

Most brands are just personalities with products. Advertising is about how you tap into people’s emotional insights – and how to influence pop culture.

iPod’s doing it. But I bet you could say that while the advertising is cool, the product is the first thing. Also Honda in the U.K. with Wieden. From ‘Cog’ in 2003 to the most recent ad, ‘Grrr.’ It’s a different mind shift – it creates a global energy that you could buy into. And the idea is bigger than any single execution.